Phillies: Most impactful deadline deals of the decade
The Phillies approached the 2017 trade deadline with one of the worst records in baseball. Sitting nearly 30 games below .500 Philadelphia hit rock bottom in their rebuild and were continuing to sell key players to restock the farm system.
Acquired in the offseason for cash considerations or a player to be named later, reliever Pat Neshek brought a funky delivery and tremendous success to Philadelphia. The veteran sidearmer was having a career-year, earning his second All-Star selection and owning a career-best 1.12 ERA.
On July 26 the Phillies dealt the 36-year-old righty to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for three promising prospects: J.D. Hammer, Jose Gomez, and Alejandro Requena.
Hammer immediately grabbed the attention of Phillies fans everywhere with his Rick Vaughn style, sporting long hair and thick glasses. A right-handed reliever, Hammer had all kinds of potential that was eventually realized when the Phillies called him up in 2019.
Hammer was anything but a wild thing in his rookie season, allowing zero earned runs in 15 of his first 20 appearances. After two rocky outings in July the Phillies demoted Hammer to hone his command, but the prospect of Hammer being a back of the rotation arm for Philadelphia already made the trade noteworthy.
Gomez, an infielder who hit .367 playing for the Rockies rookie-level team in 2016, was a promising prospect who rated among one of the Phillies best prospects after the deal was made. Gomez earned a promotion to Double-A Reading in 2019 after hitting .348 in Clearwater, and is currently hitting .257 for the Fightin’s.
Requena, who was pitching in the Rockies organization as a teenager just a year before the deal, had a 3.60 ERA for Clearwater in 2018. He’s still a ways away from the big leagues, but still very young.
While the Neshek trade was very recent, it set up the Phillies very well with three young players, one who has already proved he can be a contributor in the big leagues.